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What Are the Best Part-Time MBA Programs?

December 15, 2023
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What Are Part-Time MBA Programs? 20 Best MBA ProgramsBenefits of Part-Time MBA ProgramsCons of Part-Time MBA ProgramsWho Are Part-Time Programs Suited For? Part-Time MBA Programs Vs. Full-Time MBA ProgramsFAQs

Candidates looking to complete their MBA at a top business school have the option of completing the program on a part-time basis. Students at most institutions earn the same degree with the same credentials whether or not they study full-time or part-time.

Part-time programs may be the best academic route for some students, and this guide will help you decide if a part-time MBA is best for you. In this article, we will explore the benefits and consequences of a part-time program and how they differ from full-time programs. The best part-time programs and what you need to apply are outlined below.

What Are Part-Time MBA Programs?‍

Part-time MBA programs are completed at a slower, more relaxed pace than full-time programs. There are two main types of part-time MBA programs. The first is Executive MBA (EMBA) which is designed for students who currently hold leadership roles in their jobs.

Often these students have years of work experience under their belts and are commonly between the ages of 32 to 42 when they enter their program. These programs focus heavily on networking, but there is generally little intermingling between MBA and EMBA students. 

These programs also typically have much smaller class sizes than full-time MBA programs and come with hefty price tags (employers are usually expected to pay some or all of a student’s tuition). 

The other option is the part-time MBA, sometimes called the Professional MBA (PMBA) or the fully-employed MBA (FEMBA). These programs are often aimed at those who work full-time and do not hold a leadership role.

Typically, students entering a part-time MBA program are between the ages of 24 and 35. Part-time MBA programs are usually completed in the evenings or on weekends.

20 Best MBA Programs

If you’ve decided that a part-time program is a proper structure for you, your next step is to choose a program. Deciding on a school can be an overwhelming task, so below are some top-ranked MBA programs for your consideration.

1. University of California, Berkeley (Haas)

Berkeley campus

Source: Berkeley Haas

Berkeley offers an Evening & Weekend MBA, a part-time program completed in 3 years. Students can choose whether to attend classes two evenings a week or all day on Saturdays. Electives make up over half of the course curriculum, allowing students to benefit from a highly personalized learning structure. 

What You Need to Apply 

Here are all the requirements you’ll need to fulfill to apply: 

  • An online application 
  • Two essays: a personal story and a professional statement
  • A professional resume
  • University transcripts
  • EA, GMAT, or GRE scores
  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which should be from your current direct supervisor
  • Two video interview questions 
  • English language exam (if you are a non-native English speaker)
  • Application fee of $200

Admission Information

In a recent cycle, 336 students enrolled in Berkeley’s part-time MBA program. Here is some other information regarding admissions to Berkeley Haas: 

  • Acceptance rate: 47.4%
  • Average GPA: 3.4
  • Average GMAT score: 700
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 5-13
  • Tuition cost: $3,708 per unit
  • Program duration: 3 years

2. University of Chicago (Booth) 

University of Chicago (Booth)  campus

Source: Chicago Booth

University of Chicago (Booth) School of Business offers two part-time MBA programs along with a full-time program: the Evening MBA program and the Weekend MBA program. Both the Evening MBA and Weekend MBA have 14 concentrations and over 130 classes to tailor your experience. 

What You Need to Apply

Here’s what you’ll need to submit when applying to Booth: 

  • An online application
  • An essay related to your interest in Chicago Booth
  • A reapplicant essay, if applicable
  • An optional addendum 
  • University transcripts
  • Executive Assessment (EA), GMAT or GRE scores
  • English language exam (if you are a non-native English speaker)
  • Application fee of $175

Admissions Information

Recent data shows that 305 students were enrolled in part-time programs at the University of Chicago. The following list shows data related to part-time MBA admissions. 

  • Acceptance rate: N/A
  • Average GPA: 3.4
  • Average GMAT score: 691
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 1-21
  • Tuition cost: $8,096 per unit course
  • Program duration: 2.5-3 years

3. Northwestern University (Kellogg) 

Campuses | Kellogg School of Management

Source: Northwestern Kellogg

Kellogg offers an Evening & Weekend MBA program that can be completed over an average of 2.5 years. Students have the choice of earning their MBAs by attending class either every Saturday or just once a week on an evening of their choosing.

The academic experience is customizable, with more than 100 electives to choose from along with core classes. Kellogg also offers students the opportunity to complete their part-time MBA program at a traditional or accelerated pace. 

What You Need to Apply 

If you want to apply to Kellogg, you’ll need to submit the following

  • Online application 
  • Two essays related to overcoming challenges and contributing to the Kellogg community 
  • A professional resume
  • University transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Two letters of recommendation, addressing specific questions 
  • Virtual interview
  • English Language Proficiency Examinations (TOEFL and IELTS) if you are a non-native English speaker
  • Application fee of $185

Admissions Information

According to recent data, 228 students were enrolled in Kellogg’s part-time MBA program. Below is a summary of recent admissions data

4. New York University (Stern)

Class of 2020 - NYU Stern

Source: NYU Stern

Stern offers a part-time MBA with four program options: weeknight classes, Saturday classes, an online option, and an accelerated two-year option. The weeknight option is the most popular MBA program, where classes meet between Monday and Thursday evenings twice a week.

The Saturday option has students take two courses every Saturday. The accelerated two-year option is a unique path for students to complete their MBAs quickly on a part-time basis and is offered only on weeknights. 

What You Need to Apply 

Here are the materials you’ll need to apply part-time at NYU Stern: 

  • An online application 
  • Two essays about your short- and long-term career goals and how the part-time MBA will help you achieve them
  • An optional addendum 
  • A professional resume
  • University transcripts
  • EA, GMAT, or GRE scores, or a waiver 
  • One letter of recommendation, ideally from your current supervisor, answering specific questions about the applicant 
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test if the candidate is a non-native English speaker 
  • Application fee of $95

Admissions Information

264 students enrolled in the most recent part-time class at Stern. Here is some more information regarding NYU Stern part-time admissions. 

  • Acceptance rate: 68.1%
  • Average GPA: 3.46
  • Average GMAT score: 669
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 1-12
  • Tuition cost: $2,754 per credit
  • Program duration: 2-6 years

5. University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson) 

University of California, Los Angeles (Anderson) 

Source: UCLA Anderson

UCLA Anderson offers the Fully Employed MBA program with three flexible options for program structure. Students can choose to complete their MBAs on Saturdays all day, Tuesday and Thursday evenings, or a hybrid schedule on-campus and online. 

What You Need to Apply 

These are all the materials you’re going to need to apply to UCLA Anderson

  • An online application
  • Two essays responding to prompts about your contributions to UCLA Anderson and your career goals
  • An optional addendum (UCLA includes a list of scenarios that you will need to address here if applicable) 
  • A professional resume
  • University transcripts
  • EA, GMAT, or GRE scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • English Language Proficiency Examinations (TOEFL and IELTS) if you are a non-native English speaker 
  • Optional phone interview
  • Application fee of $200

Admissions Information

According to recent data, 348 out of 450 applicants for UCLA Anderson’s FEMBA were accepted. Below is a summary of admissions data collected from the university. 

  • Acceptance rate: 77%
  • Average GPA: 3.3
  • Average GMAT score: 667
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 7
  • Tuition cost: $1,740 per unit
  • Program duration: 3-5 years

6. University of Texas at Austin (McCombs)

Source: UT Austin McCombs

UT Austin McCombs School of Business offers an Evening MBA for part-time MBA seekers. The program provides networking opportunities through other UT programs and allows students to customize their degrees with new leadership, technology, and global business elective offerings. 

What You Need to Apply 

If you’re interested in the McCombs part-time MBA, here’s what you’ll need to apply

  • An online application
  • EA, GMAT, or GRE scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS tests (if applicable) 
  • University transcripts
  • A professional resume
  • A cover letter summarizing your aspirations, qualifications, and experiences that make you a strong candidate
  • An optional addendum
  • One letter of recommendation from a supervisor
  • Video assessment
  • Virtual interview
  • $200 application fee

Admissions Information

294 part-time MBA applicants out of 371 were accepted in a recent UT Austin McCombs admissions cycle. Here’s some more admissions info

  • Acceptance rate: 79%
  • Average GPA: 3.36
  • Average GMAT score: 654
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 8
  • Tuition cost: ~$130,000
  • Program duration: 2.5 years

7. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ross)

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ross) campus

Source: University of Michigan Ross

The Ross School of Business at UMichigan Ann Arbor offers several MBA options for part-timers to consider. You can choose to take the online MBA, which is the most flexible, or the weekend MBA, which occurs twice per month. 

What You Need to Apply 

The application requirements for both the weekend and online MBA programs are the same. Here’s what you’ll need: 

  • University transcripts
  • EA, GMAT, GMAT Focus, GRE, or QRC scores
  • A professional resume detailing at least 12 months of full-time work experience
  • Two short-answer question responses
  • A career goal essay
  • An optional addendum
  • One recommendation letter, ideally from a supervisor, answering specific questions
  • $200 application fee
  • Virtual interview
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE (if applicable)

Admissions Information

In a recent admissions cycle, 147 of 173 part-time MBA applicants were accepted. Below is a summary of admissions data collected from the university.

The weekend MBA class profile includes:  

The online MBA class profile includes: 

8. University of Southern California (Marshall)

University of Southern California (Marshall) campus

Source: USC Marshall

USC Marshall also offers two part-time MBA programs. The online MBA (OMBA) is designed specifically for working professionals to advance their careers lasting 21 months, and the part-time MBA (MBA.PM) offers a dynamic and innovative curriculum. 

What You Need to Apply 

If you’d like to apply to the MBA.PM at USC Marshall, you’ll need to meet the following requirements

  • An online application
  • A four-year undergraduate degree
  • Academic transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Two required essays and one optional essay
  • A professional resume
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable) 

However, the requirements for the OMBA are slightly different: 

  • A four-year undergraduate degree
  • Minimum 2 years of professional work experience
  • Online application
  • Two required essays
  • A professional resume
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable)

Please note GMAT/GRE scores are not required for the OMBA, and letters of recommendation are not required and will not be considered for the MBA.PM. 

Admissions Information

According to recent data, 255 out of 296 applicants to the MBA.PM were accepted. Read on for more admission information about the MBA.PM. 

  • Acceptance rate: 86%
  • Average GPA: 3.31
  • Average GMAT score: 640
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 11-12
  • Tuition cost: $2,307 per unit
  • Program duration: 33 months

9. Carnegie Mellon University (Tepper)

Source: Carnegie Mellon Tepper

Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon offers two part-time online MBA programs. You can choose to take either the online hybrid MBA, which lasts for 32 months, or the accelerated part-time MBA, which lasts for only 24. 

What You Need to Apply 

The application requirements for the online MBA programs are the same as the full-time requirements, which include the following: 

  • Online application form
  • Current resume
  • A written essay
  • A video essay
  • One professional recommendation
  • Unofficial academic transcripts
  • GMAT, GRE, or EA scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS score (if applicable)
  • $200 application fee 
  • Course descriptions & syllabi for required pre-requisites (for Accelerated MBA

Admissions Information

The most recent cycle for the online MBA at Tepper accepted 39 applicants out of 64. Here’s some more admissions data for the online MBA. 

  • Acceptance rate: 60.9%
  • Average GPA: 3.38
  • Average GMAT score: 679
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 6.7
  • Tuition cost: $758 per unit
  • Program duration: 32 months

10. Georgetown University (McDonough)

Georgetown University (McDonough) campus

Source: Georgetown McDonough

McDonough at Georgetown offers both an online and an in-person part-time MBA, known as “Flex.” The Flex MBA programs are specially designed to help you balance full-time work and your personal life alongside your studies. 

What You Need to Apply 

Both programs have the same application requirements, which include: 

  • An online application form
  • GMAT, GRE, EA, LSAT, MCAT, or PCAT scores
  • Unofficial academic transcripts
  • A personal essay chosen from three prompts 
  • A video essay sharing 5-10 facts about yourself that elaborate on your professionalism and leadership skills 
  • An optional addendum
  • Reapplicant essay (if applicable) 
  • A professional resume
  • One recommendation, preferably from a supervisor
  • $175 application fee 
  • Interview (by invitation) 
  • TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores (if applicable)

Admissions Information

Recently, Georgetown McDonough accepted 211 applicants out of 283 to their part-time Flex MBA program. Below is some more admissions info about the part-time programs. 

The in-person Flex MBA class profile contains the following information: 

  • Acceptance rate: 74.5%
  • Average GPA: 3.44
  • Average GMAT score: 659
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 5.4
  • Tuition cost: $57,360
  • Program duration: 24-60 months

The online Flex MBA class profile displayed this information: 

  • Acceptance rate: 74.5%
  • Average GPA: 3.43
  • Average GMAT score: 690
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 4.25
  • Tuition cost: $57,360
  • Program duration: 24-60 months

11. Georgia Institute of Technology (Scheller)

Georgia Institute of Technology (Scheller) campus

Source: Georgia Tech Scheller

If you want to get an MBA from Scheller College of Business, you can take their Evening MBA part-time program. This customizable program is self-paced and is perfect for working professionals who want to balance their work and life responsibilities. 

What You Need to Apply 

Here’s what you’ll need to submit to apply to the Evening MBA at Scheller: 

  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Three required essays 
  • An optional addendum
  • GMAT, GMAT Focus, GRE, or EA scores (optional)
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • $95 application fee for domestic applicants and $105 for international
  • Admissions interview (by invitation) 

Admissions Information

The Georgia Institute of Technology accepted 95 applicants out of 131 in a recent cycle for the Evening MBA program. Below is some more admission data

  • Acceptance rate: 72.5%
  • Average GPA: 3.34
  • Average GMAT score: 616
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 7
  • Tuition cost: $1,132 per credit hour (for Georgia residents)
  • Program duration: 2-6 years

12. University of Texas at Dallas (Jindal)

University of Texas at Dallas (Jindal) campus

Source: UT Dallas Jindal

You have three part-time options if you choose to pursue your MBA at UT Dallas Jindal: the PMBA Evening Cohort, the PMBA Flex, or the PMBA Online. Each program is designed to make education accessible for working professionals, regardless of your schedule or commitments. 

What You Need to Apply 

The application process is the same for each Professional MBA program. You’ll need to submit these materials: 

  • An online application
  • $50 application fee
  • Unofficial transcripts 
  • GMAT, GMAT Focus, or GRE scores
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A 300-500 word essay
  • A detailed professional resume
  • Interviews (for Evening Cohort candidates only) 

Admissions Information

Recently, UT Dallas accepted 289 of 452 part-time MBA applicants. Below is a summary of admissions data collected from the university. 

For the Evening Cohort MBA program: 

  • Acceptance rate: 64%
  • Average GPA: 3.4
  • Average GMAT score: 670
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 6.2
  • Tuition cost: $49,660 for Texas residents
  • Program duration: 2-3 years

For the PMBA Flex program: 

  • Acceptance rate: 64%
  • Average GPA: 3.5
  • Average GMAT score: 600
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 6
  • Tuition cost: $49,660 for Texas residents
  • Program duration: 2-3 years

For the PMBA Online program: 

  • Acceptance rate: 64%
  • Average GPA: 3.6
  • Average GMAT score: 609
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 7.9
  • Tuition cost: $49,660 for Texas residents
  • Program duration: 2-3 years

13. University of Washington (Foster)

University of Washington (Foster) campus

Source: UW Foster

The University of Washington Foster Business School offers three MBA programs designed for working professionals: the Evening MBA, the Hybrid MBA, and the Technology Management MBA (for those passionate about technology and innovation). 

What You Need to Apply 

The requirements for each program differ slightly, but all have the same core components: 

  • An online application profile
  • Two required essays
  • Optional essays and/or addendum
  • Letter(s) of recommendation
  • GMAT, GMAT Focus, GRE, or EA scores 
  • Academic transcripts
  • Video interview submission (Evening MBA)
  • Interview by invitation (Hybrid & Technology Management)
  • $85 application fee
  • Proof of English proficiency, if applicable

Note that test scores are optional for the Hybrid MBA. 

Admissions Information

The UW Foster School of Business accepted 111 out of 133 part-time MBA applicants recently, giving it a very high acceptance rate. Here is some further admission data: 

For the Evening MBA program: 

  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Average GPA: 3.38
  • Average GMAT score: 690
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 7
  • Tuition cost: $92,003
  • Program duration: 3 years

For the Hybrid MBA program: 

  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Average GPA: 3.4
  • Average GMAT score: N/A
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 7.63
  • Tuition cost: $90,000
  • Program duration: 2 years

For the Technology Management program: 

  • Acceptance rate: 83%
  • Average GPA: N/A
  • Average GMAT score: N/A
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 11
  • Tuition cost: $91,300
  • Program duration: 18 months

14. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Carlson)

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Carlson)

Source: University of Minnesota Carlson

The Carlson School of Management offers a flexible part-time MBA program with evening, weekend, and online courses available. You can customize your schedule to best fit your needs. 

What You Need to Apply 

For a part-time MBA at Carlson, you’ll need to fulfill the following requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • 2 years of work experience
  • An online application
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • GMAT/GRE scores (optional)
  • Two professional recommendation letters
  • A personal statement that addresses three questions
  • A merit scholarship essay (optional for admission, required for scholarship)
  • An optional addendum
  • TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or Duolingo test scores (if applicable)
  • $75 application fee
  • Current resume
  • Video essay 

Admissions Information

According to recent data, Carlson accepted 97 part-time applicants out of 104. Read on for a list of more admissions data

  • Acceptance rate: 93%
  • Average GPA: 3.39
  • Average GMAT score: 600
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 5.82
  • Tuition cost: $1,720 per credit
  • Program duration: 2-7 years

15. Indiana University (Kelley)

Source: Indiana Kelley 

You can also get a part-time MBA from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Kelley offers an Evening MBA that is affordable, flexible, and customizable. 

What You Need to Apply 

If you’re interested in applying part-time to Kelley, you’ll need to submit these requirements

  • An online application answering questions regarding personal information
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • GMAT/GRE scores
  • Potential supporting documents (achievements, behavior disclosure, documents) depending on your circumstances
  • A professional resume
  • A 500-word personal statement responding to specific questions 
  • Two letters of evaluation 

Admissions Information

Out of 90 part-time applicants in a recent cycle, 67 were accepted to Kelley. Here is some more helpful admissions data

  • Acceptance rate: 74.4%
  • Average GPA: 3.3
  • Average GMAT score: 620-650
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: N/A
  • Tuition cost: $916 per credit hour (Indiana residents), $1501 per credit hour (non-residents)
  • Program duration: 2 years

16. Ohio State University (Fisher)

Ohio State University (Fisher)

Source: Ohio State University Fisher

At the Ohio State University’s Fisher School of Business, you can earn a Working Professional MBA (WPMBA). This flexible, personalized program is offered in-person, online, or in a hybrid approach. 

What You Need to Apply 

To apply to Fisher for the part-time WPMBA, here’s what you’ll need to submit: 

  • Academic transcripts
  • GMAT, GRE, or EA scores
  • A detailed resume
  • An essay exploring your career goals and how an MBA will help you achieve them
  • Optional addendum 
  • Two references, ideally professional 
  • $60 application fee for domestic applicants and $70 for international applicants

Admissions Information

Recently, Fisher accepted 212 part-time applicants out of 343. Here is a summary of admissions data collected from the university. 

  • Acceptance rate: 62%
  • Average GPA: N/A
  • Average GMAT score: 615
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 7.2
  • Tuition cost: Ranges from $29,001-$56,771
  • Program duration: 2.5 years (typically)

17. Rice University (Jones)

Source: Rice University Jones

Rice University offers a Professional MBA through the Jones School of Business. This program has world-class professors and resources that can help you build a strong network through evening or alternating weekend classes. 

What You Need to Apply 

You’ll need to submit these materials in order to apply to Rice Business School: 

  • An online application 
  • Academic transcripts
  • GMAT, GRE, or EA scores
  • A current professional resume
  • One to two recommendation letters (only one if from a supervisor, two if from other sources) 
  • Two essays responding to short-answer prompts
  • A creative 500-word essay (may also be a three-minute video essay) 
  • Optional addendum

Admissions Information

According to recent data, 236 applicants were accepted part-time out of 260. Below, you’ll find a summary of average admission information

  • Acceptance rate: 91%
  • Average GPA: 3.28
  • Average GMAT score: 657
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 8
  • Tuition cost: $59,000 (evening), $62,500 (weekend)
  • Program duration: 2 years

18. University of South Carolina (Moore)

Source: USC Moore

You can earn a Professional MBA from the Darla Moore School of Business through the University of South Carolina. This program boasts flexibility, world-class faculty, and senior lecturers. 

What You Need to Apply 

To create a great MBA profile, you should gather the following documents when applying to Moore: 

  • 2 years of work experience
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE scores
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose essay responding to two specific questions
  • TOEFL/IELTS scores (if applicable)
  • An online application 
  • $100 application fee

Admissions Information

Moore School of Business recently accepted 80 out of 87 part-time applicants, giving them a very high acceptance rate. Read on for a list of more admissions-related data.

  • Acceptance rate: 92%
  • Average GPA: 3.39
  • Average GMAT score: 677
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 177 months
  • Tuition cost: $810 per credit
  • Program duration: 28 months

19. Emory University (Goizueta)

Source: Emory University Goizueta

The part-time MBA at Emory can be completed on-campus, online, or in a hybrid format. This program also offers 20+ concentration options and 50+ elective courses to choose from. 

What You Need to Apply 

You’ll need to gather and submit the following materials to be considered for admission to the evening MBA program: 

  • An online application
  • $175 application fee
  • GMAT/GRE/EA scores (optional)
  • A professional resume
  • Academic transcripts
  • Two essays related to your post-MBA career goals and a personal story of leadership in business
  • An optional addendum
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A virtual interview
  • TOEFL/IELTS/Duolingo scores (if applicable)

Admissions Information

In a recent cycle, Emory received 160 part-time applications and accepted 135 students. Here’s a list of some more admission information: 

  • Acceptance rate: 84%
  • Average GPA: 3.3
  • Average GMAT score: N/A
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 8
  • Tuition cost: $83,484
  • Program duration: 24 months (typically)

20. Washington University in St. Louis (Olin)

Source: WashU Olin

Olin Business School at WashU offers a Professional MBA to help you further your career goals in a flexible curriculum. 

What You Need to Apply 

Here are the application requirements for the PMBA at Olin: 

  • An online application
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • One-page resume
  • A 500-word essay about your personal values
  • Application video
  • Optional addendum
  • GMAT or GRE scores (optional) 
  • Professional recommendation

Admissions Information

Washington University in St. Louis recently accepted 50 out of 56 part-time MBA applicants. Here is some more helpful admissions data: 

  • Acceptance rate: 89%
  • Average GPA: 3.4
  • Average GMAT score: 648
  • Required GMAT score: N/A
  • Average years of work experience: 6.5
  • Tuition cost: $100,440
  • Program duration: 3 years

Benefits of Part-Time MBA Programs 

two female students talking

Part-time MBA programs are beneficial to students in numerous ways. Perhaps the most favorable element of part-time learning is the ability to keep working your full-time job. Because of this, part-time programs offer working students a greater level of financial security as they progress toward their MBA.

Part-time programs are also structured around students' schedules and duties, taking into account work and family or community responsibilities. This makes part-time MBAs ideal for mature students who have other commitments. 

Students doing a part-time MBA will often take about three years to complete their degrees. During this time, students can apply and practice what they learn immediately in a job setting. This real-time application may make the MBA coursework easier

Part-time programs are generally viewed as less competitive than full-time programs and you may have a higher chance of admission. For example, Michigan Ross School of Business’ part-time acceptance rate was nearly 50 percent higher than full-time programs (26.3 percent versus 74.4 percent). 

A recent survey showed that Berkeley Haas’ exclusive full-time program had a 12 percent acceptance rate versus a 47.4 acceptance rate for their part-time program for the same education. Pursuing a part-time MBA program can boost your chances of admission. 

Cons of Part-Time MBA Programs

female student with head down on desk

Although there are numerous pros to enrolling in a part-time program, there are some consequences as well. The first is that it may be difficult for some students to juggle pursuing their MBA on evenings and weekends, adding to the stresses of their daily work and family lives.

Although the part-time program can provide you with a balance between work and education, that doesn't mean it’s necessarily an easy thing to do. Along with the stress of maintaining a healthy work/life/school balance, some may find that their experience is not as immersive as if they had pursued a full-time program.

Additionally, part-time programs do not lend themselves well to those looking to make a career change - there are no summer internships built into the program to facilitate experience in a new field. Another possible challenge is related to financial resources.

part-time students have less access to scholarships and often must rely on their savings or employer sponsorship. Despite having an income from a full-time job, finding enough money to enroll in a program comfortably may be a barrier for many candidates.

Who are Part-Time Programs Suited For?

The purpose of part-time MBA programs is to allow candidates to advance their careers in a flexible way that does not sacrifice their jobs. Here’s how to know if a part-time MBA program is right for you. 

1. You have a great deal of work experience and don’t want to switch careers.

person smiling in office

Part-time MBA programs are best suited for those who are content in their current industry. According to Kim Clark, the former dean of Harvard Business School, students don’t turn down a chance to go to Harvard for another school; they do so because they have great work opportunities.

If you know you have the opportunity to climb higher on the corporate ladder at your place of work, a part-time MBA can be an excellent fit for you. Natalie Grinblatt Epstein, the former admissions dean and director at Cornell and the University of Michigan, said that “part-time programs are perfect for the 24-35-year-old career enhancer but rarely serve the career changer.

Part-timers typically do not have the same access to comprehensive career services as full-time programs because company presentations and interviews are typically held during the day.” If you are comfortable with a lower level of career support and feel stable in your field, a part-time MBA can be a great asset to your career. 

2. You cannot afford to pursue a full-time program.

Part-time programs are generally less expensive, and you can enjoy your regular salary while you learn. When it comes to full-time programs, the most considerable cost of an MBA is not the tuition price but rather the lost wages you have to give up during your MBA program. Part-time MBAs alleviate this major financial stressor.

3. You have home or community responsibilities.

husband and wife with two young children

Maybe you have a mortgage to pay or a spouse and children to support. Perhaps you are caring for elderly parents or other persons. In these circumstances, quitting your job to pursue a full-time MBA may not be a viable path. Part-time MBA programs can give you a much more flexible schedule to balance your family obligations with your work and education. 

Part-Time MBA Programs Vs. Full-Time MBA Programs 

There are significant similarities between part-time and full-time programs, but there are key differences to keep in mind. 

Similarities

  • MBA degree: At most institutions, full-time and part-time programs will result in the same degree.
  • Classes: Many of the courses will be similar between full-time and part-time degrees at respective schools. 
  • Faculty and Staff: Both programs usually share the same faculty. 
  • Financial Benefits: Whether a student studies on a full-time or part-time basis, MBA graduates can double their salaries within three years after completing their MBA. 

Differences 

Many of the differences between full-time and part-time MBA programs are related to your personal goals. Take a look at the below table:

Full-Time MBA Part-Time MBA
You want the full university experience You don’t want time out of the workforce
You can afford to take time out of the workforce You want the flexibility to work and study
You want to completely change your career You want to boost your current career
You want an MBA internship You want to directly apply your learning to your current job

Source: Business Because

  • Post-MBA Goals: Full-time programs are better suited for candidates interested in switching career paths and broadening their opportunities. Part-time programs are better suited for individuals who want to remain in their current industry but desire advancement in their workplace. 
  • Duration: Most full-time programs take one to two years to complete. Part-time programs can take between two and six years to complete. 
  • Structure: Full-time programs are generally completed during the week in the daytime and follow a rigid structure. Part-time programs are more flexible and are typically completed in the evenings and on weekends. 
  • Financial: Students in full-time programs cannot hold down a full-time job during their studies and will forfeit wages while they are studying. In addition to lost salaries, full-time program tuition costs can also be expensive. part-time students do not lose their wages and may be offered tuition assistance from their employers. 

The bottom line is that you will likely end up with the same degree and post-MBA benefits regardless of which path you choose to take. The differences outlined above can guide which program may suit you better depending on your aspirations and obligations. 

FAQs

1. How long do I have to complete my part-time MBA? ‍

Some programs will allow students to take up to five or six years to complete their MBA, but the timelines are program-specific. Most part-time MBAs take around three years to complete.

2. Do part-time MBAs offer work placements? 

Part-time MBAs do not typically offer work placements because students are normally already fully employed. If you’re looking for a career switch, you may want to consider a full-time MBA program. 

3. Will my networking opportunities be the same in a part-time program? ‍

Networking opportunities are program-specific, but part-time MBA students typically do not have the same networking opportunities as full-time students. They may also receive less career support because they are perceived as already happy in their current company or industry.

4. Can I do my part-time MBA online? 

Some MBA programs can be completed entirely online, in-person, or follow a hybrid structure. Your program's design will depend on what school you are attending, but an online MBA can cut all of your commute time and give you ultimate flexibility. 

5. What if I’m unemployed? Can I still apply for a part-time MBA while I search for a job? 

The answer to this will be school-specific, but some schools may accept unemployed candidates into a part-time MBA program. If this is your circumstance, explain why the part-time MBA program is a much better fit for you than the full-time MBA program and what you have to offer your prospective class. 

6. Is a part-time MBA less valuable than a full-time MBA?

Most institutions offer the same degree upon completing your MBA program, whether you decide to attend part-time or full-time. Numerous reports are suggesting that hiring managers do not have a preference for which structure you choose. 

Duke University MBA Sam Lee says, “I’ve never heard a hiring manager ask me if I did my MBA full-time or part-time, and as a hiring manager myself, I never once asked a candidate that question either; it’s simply not relevant.” If you choose the program that works best for your goals and lifestyle, you are making the right choice. 

7. Can you maintain a full-time job while attending a part-time MBA program? 

Yes, you can. Most part-time MBA programs are designed to integrate seamlessly with the schedules of full-time workers. However, it’s up to you to decide if you can balance the demands of both work and school simultaneously. 

8. What is the typical duration of part-time MBA programs? 

Most part-time MBA programs last for 2-3 years. Many programs are flexible and can be completed according to each student’s pace. 

9. Why are part-time MBA programs considered easier to get into?

Part-time MBA admissions are considered easier because there is generally less competition and fewer applicants. Usually, part-time MBA programs also have less rigorous application requirements. 

10. Why do part-time MBA programs usually require lower GMAT scores? 

Part-time MBA programs require lower GMAT scores because they tend to have fewer applicants and, therefore, less competition. Many part-time MBA programs also require applicants to have work experience, meaning that through their experience, they may be able to prove that they already have the knowledge demonstrated on the GMAT. 

Final Thoughts

Completing your MBA part-time is a great option and can provide the flexibility you need to make your education a priority. Whether you have personal obligations or you’re on a career path that you love, a part-time MBA can be the best way to cultivate your skills in a manageable way. Be sure to weigh your options when deciding to attend courses on a full-time or part-time basis, and make the decision that you think suits you best.

The best part-time MBA programs list above will provide you with some background about what a part-time MBA entails and what admissions committees expect from you. If you do your research and find a program that caters to your needs and aspirations, you are making the right choice in investing in yourself. 

About Inspira Futures

At Inspira Futures, our sole focus is to get you accepted at your dream business school. Our team of experts consists of former admission committee members and alums from Harvard Business School, Stanford GSB, and other M7 schools. Our goal is to help you write great essays, ace interviews, and win scholarships. Without any stress or hassle. Our clients have gone on to secure admits at the world's top business schools while also being winners of some of the most prestigious scholarships like Stanford Knight Hennessy, HBS Baker Scholars, and many others.
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